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Women in Alaska’s early saloons

by The 100 Companies

Congress repealed Alaska’s prohibition laws in 1899 and in 1900, W.Y. Egan received the first liquor license for his “Bar Room” in Tanana. Only prostitutes, entertainers and ladies called “percentage girls” were allowed in saloons. The latter encouraged customers to purchase drinks that were watered-down and they’d earn about 25% of the tab from the bartender.

“Respectable” women who wanted an occasional tipple were allowed in through the “family entrance,” though they had to take their drinks to go; beer was poured into a bucket and whiskey in a bottle. In 1908, licenses were revoked from establishments serving women.

– Eve Lederman, The 100 Companies

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